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10 Effective Plyometric Exercises And Their Benefits

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ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition
10 Effective Plyometric Exercises And Their Benefits May 25, 2018

Plyometric (plyo – jump) exercises are best for increasing muscle power. These are bodyweight exercises and do not require weights or equipment. Plyos take the regular bodyweight exercises to the next level by incorporating a powerful jump, which activates the muscles with maximum force for a short interval of time. And this increases muscle speed over time. In fact, 3 sets of 3-5 reps, twice a week, can make you fast and agile like an athlete. So, if you are training to be fit, you must include plyos in your workout routine. Here are 10 best full-body plyometric exercises to burn calories, define your body, and enhance your fitness levels. Swipe up!

Top 10 Plyometric Exercises

Jump start your workout with these amazing plyometric exercises:

1. Squat Jumps

Best Plyometric Exercises - Squat Jumps Pinit

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Squat jumps are also called plyo squats. Warm up your quads, glutes, and calves with 10 reps of regular wide squats at a normal pace. Then, do 10 reps of squat jumps.

Target – Glutes, quads, hamstrings, and core.

Steps To Do Squat Jumps

  1. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, shoulders rolled back, abs tight, and belly button sucked into the spine.
  2. Bend your knees and squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Make sure your knees are above your ankles, and your hip is pushed out.
  3. Applying force with your legs, push yourself upwards into a jump, straightening your body.
  4. Land softly into the squat position. This is one rep.

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 10 reps

2. Sumo Squat Jumps

This exercise is a variation of the sumo squat or plié squat. It targets the inner thighs along with outer thighs, glutes, and abs. Warm up with 10 reps of a regular plié squat and hold the last rep for 10 seconds. Then, do 10 reps of sumo squat jumps.

Target – Adductors, calves, hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, glutes, and core.

Steps To Do Sumo Squat Jumps

  1. Stand straight with your feet placed wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointing out, core engaged, and shoulders rolled back.
  2. Flex your knees and lower your torso. Go as low as you can and feel the stretch in your inner thighs. Flex your elbows and bring your arms close to your shoulders.
  3. Push yourself up into a jump, straightening your legs.
  4. Land softly into the sumo squat position. This is one rep.

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 12 reps

[ Read: Squats 101 – How To Do Squats Properly ]

3. Power Skipping

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This exercise can be done with or without a rope. A variation of power skipping is high knee cross jumps.

Target – Calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, lower abs, wrist flexors, wrist extensors, and shoulders.

Steps To Do Power Skipping

  1. If you are using the skipping rope, all you have to do is jump high and as fast as you can for 20-30 seconds.
  2. If you are doing power skipping sans the jumping rope, stand straight, and keep your abs tight, and shoulders pressed back. Position your hands as if you are holding a rope. Jump high and fast for 20-30 seconds. Keep your hands moving in a circular motion as if you are moving the rope.
  3. For high knee cross jumps, raise your knees as high as you can, alternating the legs at a very fast pace.

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 20 reps

4. Box Jumps

Best Plyometric Exercises - Box Jumps Pinit

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Box jumps are modified versions of squat jumps. You need to jump on a box and squat, thereby targeting various muscles in your body.

Target – Glutes, quads, abductors, hamstrings, core, calves, obliques, and shoulders.

Steps To Do Box Jumps

  1. Stand in front of the box, stair or platform, with your back straight, shoulders rolled back, and abs tight.
  2. Jump and land softly on the box. Push your hips out, flex your knees, and get into a squat pose. Make sure you keep your back straight, and your weight on your heels.
  3. Stand up and jump back to the floor.

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 7 reps

5. Tuck Jumps

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Tuck jumps are one of the highest calorie burning moves. These fat-melting moves are great for shedding belly fat and toning your abs. Here are the muscles that they target.

Target – Abs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, and shoulders.

Steps To Do Tuck Jumps

  1. Stand straight with your legs shoulder-width apart. Now, flex your knees slightly, lower your torso and get into the “ready” position.
  2. Jump high so that your knees are near your chest. Drop both your hands to propel your body upward.
  3. Land softly on the ground.
  4. Make sure you exhale during the jumping motion and inhale during the landing move.

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 10 reps

6. Lunge Jumps

The lunge jump is a modified version of the lunge. As the name suggests, it has a jump incorporated into the regular lunge exercise. Here are the muscles that it targets.

Target – Quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes.

Steps To Do Lunge Jumps

  1. Stand straight with your core engaged and shoulders rolled back.
  2. Put your left leg forward, flex both your knees, and lower your torso to get into a lunging pose.
  3. With the intention of switching legs, i.e., putting your right leg forward and lunging down, jump high up. As you jump, bring your left leg forward and right leg backward.
  4. Land softly on the ground, flex your knees, lower your torso, and lunge down. This time, your right leg will be forward.
  5. Jump again and bring your left leg forward.

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 10 reps

7. Mountain Climbers

This is an excellent exercise to tone your entire body. Do it on the floor and keep your core engaged all the time. Here are the muscles that this exercise targets.

Target – Upper abs, lower abs, hip flexors, glutes, quads, hamstrings, shoulders, lower back, and biceps.

Steps To Do Mountain Climbers

  1. Place your palms on a box (or sofa or the stairs).
  2. Extend your legs back, keep your spine straight and lift your hips so that your torso and legs are at about 120 degrees to each other.
  3. Engage your core and bring your right leg toward your chest.
  4. Do a small jump or hop and bring your left leg close to your chest, and push your right leg back to its starting position.
  5. Again, hop and bring your right leg close to your chest, and left leg back to the starting position.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 15 reps

8. Plank Taps

Plank taps are modified versions of planks, and they help to strengthen the core and upper body. Here are the muscles they target.

Target – Core, glutes, shoulders, lats, chest, and biceps.

Steps To Do Plank Taps

  1. Place your palms on the mat and extend your legs behind you. Support your body on your palms and toes. Make sure your head, hips, and heels are in a straight line, and your elbows are right below your shoulders.
  2. Engage your core, lift your right palm off the ground and place it on your left shoulder.
  3. Bring your right palm back to the floor. Now, lift your left palm off the ground and place it on your right shoulder.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 10 reps

9. Burpee Knee Tuck

Best Plyometric Exercises - Burpee Knee Tuck Pinit

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This is an advanced version of burpees. If you are not comfortable with burpees, reduce the reps you do. Here are the muscles that this exercise targets.

Target – Abs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, lower back, and shoulders.

Steps To Do Burpee Knee Tuck

  1. Stand straight with your legs shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bend your knees, extend your hands down, and place your palms on the floor. Make sure your back is straight.
  3. Jump and put both your legs behind you and assume the same pose as the starting position of mountain climbers.
  4. Hop and bring your legs near your palms.
  5. Lift your palms off the ground, and as you start standing up, jump high up with full force and bring your knees close to your chest.
  6. Land softly on the ground. Then, place your palms on the floor, jump and extend your legs back.
Sets And Reps

– 2 sets of 7 reps

10. Plyometric Box Dips

Plyometric box dips are similar to the regular tricep dips. But here, the height of the box is more than that of your house sofa, stairs, or gym bench. Here are the muscles that they target.

Target – Triceps, biceps, shoulders, lats, glutes, hamstrings, and calves.

Steps To Do Plyometric Box Dips

  1. Place a plyometric exercise box behind you.
  2. Bend your knees and place your palms on the edge of the box, with the fingers facing forward.
  3. Take a step ahead and place your feet away from the box. Your legs should be fully extended and on your heels. Look forward. This is the starting position.
  4. Flex your elbows and lower your torso. Bend your knees slightly and drop your hips as close to the floor as possible.
  5. Push your hips up and get back to the starting position.

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 10 reps

These are the best beginner to intermediate level plyometric exercises that you can do at home or the gym. But why should you do them at all? Here are the benefits of doing plyos over regular body-weight training.

Benefits Of Plyometric Exercises

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Here’s how plyometric exercises can help you:

  • Improve muscle speed – Plyometrics is a high-octane training system that uses an explosive amount of energy. This leads to improvement in speed as well as strength.
  • Make your muscles powerful – Plyometric exercises work on the muscle myofibrils, resulting in increased latent power in the body.
  • Improve performance – Athletes use plyometrics to improve their performance on the field. So, it is beneficial for those who want to improve their performance time.
  • Improve endurance – If you are training for a marathon, plyometric exercises must be a part of your routine. They offer good endurance and conditioning training.
  • Strengthen muscles – When the eccentric contraction is followed by a concentric contraction of muscles, the results are stronger and much better.
  • Burn calories – Plyometric exercises are effective calorie burners. They help in shedding the excess fat from the body.
  • Full-body toning exercise – Most plyometric exercises offer an excellent workout for the entire body. All the major muscle groups are engaged, which leads to integrated toning and strengthening.
  • Good for the heart – Plyometrics is beneficial for the cardiovascular system.
  • Improve agility – They enhance your stamina and agility.
  • Improve overall health – Plyometric exercises are great for HIIT workouts that help improve your overall health.

So, you see, plyometrics are amazing exercises, and you must include them in your exercise routine. However, you must keep these points in mind. Scroll down.

Safety And Precautions

  • You are not doing it right or not wearing the right gears if it hurts.
  • Do not do many reps or sets before learning the correct form.
  • Do plyos twice a week.
  • Always warm up and cool off before and after plyo training.
  • Do a mixed workout to even out the strain.
  • Increase the intensity and level of the exercise gradually instead of going all out at once.
  • Take at least 15 seconds rest between each set.

Final thoughts – enjoy your workout and stay focused on it when you spend 30-60 minutes of your time on it. Do plyos twice a week to see a change in your physical and mental fitness. Give them a go – they’re worth it. Cheers!

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Charushila is an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition and a full-time contributor to Diet & Weight Loss at Stylecraze. She believes that food has healing powers and eating good food is the best way to lose weight. A binge eater-turned-fitness enthusiast, Charushila likes to share her knowledge and experience with the world. When she is not working, she loves to cook healthy food, watch movies, travel, workout, and read Bengali literature.